When people start looking at their foot and ankle health, one of the first things they look at is their shoes. Your shoes can have more of an impact on your foot health than you think, especially when it comes to the shoes you wear while running or exercising. While we can’t recommend a specific shoe, we can give you a few points to determine which shoe is right for you.
The first thing to look at is your foot type and your gait pattern. A good running store will be able to make recommendations based on your running patterns. They will watch you run or walk to determine the proper type of running shoe for you.
There are typically three foot/gait types, pronate, neutral, and supinate.
- Pronate is commonly referred to as “flat footed”. If you are flat footed, you will need a higher stability shoe. Having a flat arch is often associated with an inward roll of the foot.
- If your foot type is neutral or normal, you have the largest variety of options to choose from.
- Having a high arch in your foot is referred to as supinate. This is associated with an outward roll and needs a running shoe with cushioning and midsole padding and shock absorption.
After you know your foot type, it’s time to select the type of shoe. You want to look at the primary purpose of your shoes, are you looking for running shoes? Walking? Cross-training? Trail running? Or just everyday support? There is a difference in these shoes depending on what their primary purpose is. Running shoes tend to be lighter, with shock absorption and are designed to run in a straight line as opposed to quick changes of direction.
Some other quick tips when looking for shoes:
- Bring your old shoes with you when buying new ones. The salesperson can look at the wear and tear on your old shoes to better analyze your gait.
- Bring the socks you wear while running if you wear a specific sock for trying on new shoes.
- Try on multiple pairs! Even if you like the first pair you try on, try a couple different pairs just to make sure!